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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  August 7, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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"the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. the president said his rhetoric brings people together but he's not talking about the people protesting in el paso and dayton. "the lead" starts right now. president trump arriving in el paso, texas as protesters there say his visit rings hollow and his critics charge that his rhetoric helped fuel the violence. what is he going to say when he arrives? plus exclusive reporting today on how the white house snubbed its own administration officials who thought combatting white supremacy should be a higher terrorism priority. plus president trump being accused of weaponizing hate by a potential 2020 democratic opponents who called for tighter gun restrictions at the site of a rampage. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. welcome to "the lead."
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i'm jake tapper. and we begin with breaking news. in minutes we expect president trump to arrive in el paso, texas. he will make his second visit today to an american community devastated after two men committed horrific acts of carnage and violence, murdering 31 people in two mass shootings speaker pelo -- shootings 13 hours apart. today he visited a hospital that treated multiple victims where nine people were killed. protesters greeted the president there in dayton and more protesters are awaiting the president's arrival in el paso, where the accused domestic terrorist echoed some of the language used by the president when talking about latino immigrants. particularly the notion that migrants and refugees coming here constitute an invasion. our team of reporters is spread out across the city of el paso. we start with cnn's boris sanchez. and the president is still in the air after visiting the victims in dayton but that is not stopping him from tweeting?
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>> reporter: yeah, that is right, jake. the president taking aim at some political rivals. apparently as focused on them as he is on offering condolences to victims in dayton and el paso. as he was in air force one he tweeted at joe biden giving a speech denouncing racism and asking the president to tone down his rhetoric. here is what he wrote about joe biden, writing, watching sleepy joe biden making a speech so boring the lame stream media will die and the ratings and clicks with this guy. the president going on to suggest that if joe biden is elected president in 2020, at least china will be happy. the president notably not tweeting about gun control legislation. something that leaders in ohio suggested the president should pursue. president trump today visiting the two cities ravaged by gun violence this week. first stop, dayton where he went directly to a hospital still treating the victims. welcoming him there, protesters there lining the streets and
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demanding action on gun control and inside trump met with first responders and law enforcement and victims. local leaders who briefly spoke with trump on the tarmac later talked about pushing the president to act. >> i think he heard me. i don't know if he will take action. >> do i think that we're going to see another mass shooting tomorrow or friday? probably. because washington will not move. >> reporter: before departing, the white house trump endorsed an idea to prevent mass shootings he's wavered on before, universal background checks. >> there is a great appetite and i mean a very strong appetite for background checks. i think both republicans and democrats are getting close to a bill on doing something with background checks. >> reporter: one of the republicans, pennsylvania senator pat toomey who just reintroduced a bipartisan bill that includes background checks. he told jake yesterday he talked several times with trump this week about it. >> did the president say that if
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your legislation passes the senate that he'll sign it? >> no, he didn't say that. and i didn't ask him that. i think he's still asking questions about the substance and how we get there. >> reporter: similarly in february when the house passed a bill expanding background checks -- >> common sense background check legislation. >> reporter: the white house vowed to veto it. and again last year after a massacre at a high school in parkland, florida, trump expressing support for background checks. >> background checks are going to be very strong. >> reporter: only to change his mind after meeting with leaders of the national rifle association. this time around sources tell cnn the white house has been in conversation with top nra officials this week after dayton and el paso. though it is unclear if the president has spoken to them himself. and, jake, as the president was leaving the white house he was again asked about his rhetoric and he said he believes that his rhetoric united people and those criticisming him using language
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similar to white supremacist, he said they were just trying to score political points. i've spoken to several people here in el paso who do not believe the president will be effective in trying to console anyone here. they suggested he's coming here to perform a photo op for political points, jake. >> boris sanchez in el paso. thanks so much. i want to go to cnn's nick valencia next to the protests. you've been in the ground in el paso for nearly seven weeks covering the border situation and now this tragedy. how are the people of el paso doing? >> reporter: they're hurt. they're angry. they're sad. they don't want us to lose sight, jake, that this was what they call a blatantly racist attack. an attack on people sum -- simply because of their ethnicity and the color of their skin and last name and who their family members are. they don't want us to lose sight of that and say president trump and the rhetoric he used against the latino community in this country for the last two years from the office of the president, it is contributed to this and it contributed they say
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to what happened here over the weekend. it was earlier that i spoke to four life-long el pasoans, people who called this home since the day they were born. i asked them directly, do they want president trump to visit here today. this is what they told me. >> i think that this community is hurting. i don't think he's done anything to help that. >> i don't, no. >> i don't know how he's going to help. >> it's not the right time. >> reporter: they say while president trump did not create here or hate or racism, he used it to divide this country and he bears some responsibility for what happened here over the weekend. i want to be clear, none of the el pasoans over the last weeks and today were excited about the president coming here. we did read a report earlier from a family member of one of the victims who said that they want president trump to come here just to be able to look in
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his eyes and see if he's genuine or not. jake. >> nick valencia in el paso. thank you so much. i want to talk with our experts here. and i want to start with the president just now tweeting saying, quote, just left dayton, ohio, it was a warm and wonderful visit and then i saw failed candidate -- sherrod brown and he never ran for president and mayor whaley misrepresent what happened in the hospital. it bore no resemblance of what took place with the incredible peek i was so luck cy -- lucky to meet and spent time with. they were acknowledged of not acknowledging that the victims were happy to have the president visit even though senator brown said the president was well received at the hospital. take a listen. >> he was comforting and he did the right things and melania did the right things. it is his job in part to comfort people. i'm glad he did it in that -- in those hospital rooms and the
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people at the hospital were terrific and people showed -- when the president of the united states came, they showed respect for the office and a number of them said to me, they're not great admirers of him privately but they clearly showed respect for the office because the president of the united states is in town. >> do you have any idea what the president is talking about? >> i didn't see the press conference, it is all based on the transcript that i saw and coy take a guess on a couple of things that brown said that privately some people were not happy with the president and they said that to him. >> privately people had said that. >> correct. and i'm just quoting him and also said that i think in another portion of the press conference talked about the rhetoric as racist and divisive and and i -- i suspect that is what the president is responding to. it doesn't sound as mr. brown misrepresented anything and the white house social media director released a tweet saying the president was greeted like a rock star, quote/unquote by the people at the hospital.
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it is not just the president -- there was a total absence of leadership at the federal level publicly this weekend after the shootings and it was really striking and striking in comparison to how we've seen presidents behave at moments of a national crisis which this was and to turn this yet again into something about donald trump as opposed to the victims he was there to see is in keeping with the theme that it is going to upset a number of people. >> so apparently sherrod brown said privately people expressed misgivings about the president being there. >> i'm guessing that is what that is about. >> right. but that is the only thing that makes any sense. but sherrod bound did say that the president was comforting and he did the right things, melania did the right things, i'm glad he did it. it is not an assault on the president and here you have his president on the way from one grief-stricken town to another attacking sherrod brown in a tweet. >> exactly. and he's also attacking joe biden in tweets. with the former vice president giving a critical speech of the president and the president's
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rhetoric today, just about an hour or so ago. so this is what we've seen constantly time and time again with how the president behaves on twitter, on social media and what he does in public. my colleagues described it kind of very apply this week when he said it was teleprompter trump versus twitter trump and you see that dichotomy. you had critical comments overnight toward beto o'rourke who is channeling so much of the grief in the home town of el paso where the president is supposed to land shortly and attacking the -- attacking beto o'rourke for the criticisms that he's had. but yet as far as we've seen and again a lot of the press traveling with him is not getting a lot of access to him so this is kind of second-hand, but he is in public seeming to do the things that a president should do. it is just this two very different personalities and tones that we're seeing from the president throughout the day. >> my gosh, the grotesque things said by the president by the presidential candidates, joe biden and beto o'rourke calling him a white nationalist,
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attributing this violence to the president and in some cases linking it to him personally, somehow it is okay, it seems, that democrats can take these pot shots, including senator brown who said initially he wasn't going to meet with the president and frankly that even that body language that you just r -- just ran on the clip, well the president was comforting and so forth. it was a qualification to it. i think this was a double standard here. i think the president who set a right tone and i think his statement was eloquent -- >> on monday. >> on monday and what other presidents have said and visiting dayton and el paso is consisten with what other presidents had done. he he not done that i would be curious what the media reaction is. but people can attack the president and the expectation is the president will not defend himself or be able to respond to their attacks. i think the right tone has been set by mayor margo of el paso
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who has repeatedly, despite requests by the media to comment on this from a political standpoint said this is about grieving and healing and i think the president of the united states has done his level best to do so? >> so one other thing, jamal, i want to get your reaction, one of the reasons we're hearing from people in el paso who have misgivings about president trump coming and i agree with your notion, if he didn't come he would get for that too, but one of the reasons is in february when he went to el paso he was critical and raised the specter of this quote/unquote invasion. take a listen to a brief snippet of that. >> we are cutting loose dangerous criminals into our country. >> murderers. killings. murders. >> so that is something that is very much on the minds of citizens of el paso, many of them are telling our reporters. >> jake, i'm sitting here in this conversation and i'm being tugged in my head in two different directions. one part of me feels the solemnity of this moment and the
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families going through this incredibly grave experience and i can't imagine what it must feel like for them. but then you have this president who is doing these -- he acts like an infant, such a toddler. and to quote cory booker a little bit, standing up against white supremacy should be the floor, not the ceiling. that is not our aspiration for the president. we sort of wrestled through big questions of where america tands an who gets to participate in white supremacy 40, 50 years ago and now here we are again dealing with this. and this is the same white house and president when they make claims that said that the inauguration was the largest inauguration ever and we had pictures that showed us it wasn't true when we had a press secretary who said she heard from fbi agents about a policy and had to admit under oath she made that up standing there. so it is hard to take anything they say seriously. >> everyone stick around. we have more to talk about. president trump is due to land in el paso, texas, at any moment. el paso is the site where 22 people were killed in the racist
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mass shooting. we still don't know where the president is going to go or what he's going visit while there. plus breaking news about one instance of the white house resisting making domestic terror threats like white supremacy a higher priority. that exclusive report coming next. stay with us. our windshield fix. >> teacher: let's turn in your science papers. >> tech vo: this teacher always puts her students first. >> student: i did mine on volcanoes. >> teacher: you did?! oh, i can't wait to read it. >> tech vo: so when she had auto glass damage... she chose safelite. with safelite, she could see exactly when we'd be there. >> teacher: you must be pascal. >> tech: yes ma'am. >> tech vo: saving her time... [honk, honk] >> kids: bye! >> tech vo: she can save the science project. >> kids: whoa! >> kids vo: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ and my side super soft? be firm? with the sleep number 360 smart bed you can both... adjust your comfort with your sleep number setting. so, can it help us fall asleep faster? yes, by gently warming your feet. but can it help keep me asleep? absolutely, it intelligently senses your movements and automatically adjusts to
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they're industry leaders, but the most important thing is they want to do it the right way. i'm really excited to be part of the morgan stanley team. i'm justin rose. we are morgan stanley. . -- one of the moments that either destroys your faith in humanity, or restores your faith in humanitarian. el paso chooses to restore our faith in humanitarian in one another and in this country. >> that was 2020 presidential candidate democrat beto o'rourke. the former congressman from el paso. he just finished speaking at that protest in el paso, texas, moments ago, talking about the strength of his community as we wait for president trump to land in the city and presumably meet with survivors of the carnage from over the weekend. we have more breaking news now. a cnn exclusive revealing an inside look at the trump
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administration and its commitment to combatting white supremacy and struggles about that. multiple current and former senior trump officials and others close to the administration tell me that for more than a year white house officials rebuffed their colleagues at the department of homeland security who were trying to include domestic terror threats such as those from white supremacists as a greater priority. one spelled out in the national counter-terrorism strategy issued last year. homeland security battled the white house for more than a year to focus more on domestic terrorism but the white house wanted to focus only on the jihadist threat and while serious ignored the reality that racial supremacist violence was rising fast at home. they had major ideology blinders on. the counter-terrorism issued last fall and a source involved in the discussions put it to me, quote, ultimately the white house added one paragraph about domestic terrorism as a throw-away line and makes no
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admission to domestic terrorism and they said homeland security is behind of the curve because of the lack of support from the white house. recall back in march president trump was asked directly about the threat of white supremacy and white nationalism after 51 innocent muslims were murdered in the deadly mosque attack in new zealand. >> -- white nationalism is a rising threat around the world. >> i don't really. i think it is a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. >> now why the white house pushed back so much against people at the department of homeland security is a matter of some debate. a former senior administration official noted that except when he seems to be forced to do so, as happened monday when the president condemned white supremacy, president trump generally seems to be reluctant to do so. the senior source telling me overlaying the entire debate, the back and forth between the white house and dhs was the belief among officials that criticizing white supremacists
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and domestic terrorism would be an issue potentially for the president. quote, you know it will trigger the boss. minutes ago a senior official told me, quote, this administration national strategy for counter-terrorism was the first to ever include domestic terrorism. this issue continues to be a priority for the administration and the national security council has launched an interagency process focused on combatting domestic terrorism in support of the president's counter-terrorism strategy. that is a lot going on there. but let's talk about this. maggie, what we have here is a lot of people who are familiar with this process or involved in this process saying we just couldn't get them to put it in the document. they just didn't want to. and one of the reasons was the concern that this would alarm and upset president trump. another theory was that, especially when it came to not president trump but people underneath president trump, they thought that the obama white house was so sensitive and political correct about not mentioning islamic terrorism that there was almost an over-correction to only talk about islamic terrorism, that is
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another theory. what is your reaction. >> among the many issues there is no one who is willing to say clearly why this is happening. so all we're left with is thee orrizing and it is plain from his own language that the president has not treated domestic terrorism and white supremacists as a similar threat to other terror groups that he ran against in 2016. he spent most of 2016 talking about how people who would not say radical islamic terrorism were cowards and he made this the centerpiece of his campaign. it clearly hasn't been a priority. it has been a priority for federal law enforcement within the administration you have seen this dichotomy between what the president said and again to your point what they're prioritizing within the white house and what the other arms of government are doing, but as to why, i'm loathe to speculate frankly. i think it would be nice if we had a briefing or a press conference or almost anything where this question could be asked. >> here is the thing, jake. is anybody here surprised the
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president resisted this or the white house resisted this? i would be more surprised if you had atory that said donald trump had a meeting and when this came up, he said, you know what, those rats, they're infesting the country and i want you to go get those white supremacists, we're going to send the military and the border patrol and whatever we have to do to get them but that is not what he said when it comes to white supremacy and that is what he says when it comes to mexicans or immigrants seeking asylum who are trying to get a better life and not the people trying to restrict americans from having a better life. >> and the fbi director christopher wray, appointed by president trump, just testified that the number of arrest is about the same as international terrorism and both of those are white supremacists. >> but the president was clear before the incidents happened that the -- all types of terrorism and oversimplification to say white supremacists or some political line that
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satisfies a segment of the society, he's talking about all terrorism. he made references to antifa for example, trying to have that as a terrorism organization. so the president i think, his statement was clear and i think the administration's position is the domestic terrorism of any kind should be absolutely not only eradicated but fought. i do think, though, the last 20 years we have been focused on jihadist and our concern where there is democrats or republicans, has always been the foreign threat. for example, before the terrible incidents, i dnl-- i didn't see lot of talk about domestic terrorism at the debate or for that matter the gun issue. didn't even come up in one of the debates. so the incidents happen. they're hopefully a catalyst for good out of something terrible. >> so that is on us, not the democratic candidates. we're the ones that ask the questions. president trump just landed in el paso, texas. we'll have more from el paso next. stay with us. every day, visionaries are creating the future.
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lead, president trump just landed in el paso, texas, moments ago after stopping to visit first in dayton, ohio, after the aftermath of two mass shooting. i'm joined by mike dewine with president trump today during his
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visit. governor, dewine, thank you for joining us, what did you have to say to president trump when you were with him earlier? >> well this trip was really focused on the victims and my wife fran and i went with the president and the first lady and he was -- spent a lot of time with the victims, went from room to room at the hospital. also wanted to meet the first responders and also wanted to thank the hospital employees, the people who had worked in the emergency room that night and early morning. it is really a trip focused on those people. >> did you talk at all with him about potential ways through legislation to try to curtail this -- these alarming mass shootings in this country? >> well, we talk mostly about he wanted to know what i had -- what i had proposed yesterday and i explained some of the things we wanted to do and can do in ohio. we talked about the fact that we do have a huge mental health
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crisis among young people today. and so the budget that we have the general assembly has approved puts significant money into our schools to help identify kids having problems and trying to get them help as early as we can. we also talked about the problem when people in communities who either have a mental health or addiction or alcohol problem and they're dangerous to themselves, dangerous to others and they have guns. i told him what we were planning on doing in ohio. we thought that this was constitutional and we felt it respected the second amendment because it has due process and it will make a difference. >> the proposals that you outlined yesterday include mandatory background checks and also safety protection orders which could mean the removal of guns from potentially dangerous individuals but your proposals do not mention banning or restricting any specific
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firearms. the shooter in daytona was able to fire 41 rounds in 30 seconds, he had a double drum magazine and i know you've seen it, capable of firing 100 rounds. thank god for the dayton police that stopped him. >> they did a phenomenal job. >> why is that gun with that capacity for ammunition, why that something that anyone in ohio should be able to buy? >> look, this is something that is going to have to be dealt with on the national level. when i was in congress, we had different votes on that. but this is something that will have to be dealt with nationally. to try to do it in the state, i don't think makes a whole lot of sense, frankly. what i'm presenting are things i know we could get done and i believe we could get the legislature to pass and that we can make a difference as quickly as we can get these thing passed. >> your fellow ohio republican congressman mike turner who represents the dayton area and his dautd was across the street,
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thank god she's okay, he has changed his mind and said he is open to trying to ban some of the semi-automatic gun. is your mind opening at all on that subject? >> look, i think this is something that is part of the national debate. it is already part of the national debate. congress is going to have to look at a number of different things. >> but what do you think? >> look, i think you could do that. again, if we -- if the votes are there in congress. congress certainly could do that. again, you have to pass something, though, that does -- it is in fact constitutional and that is when we get back to what some people call the red flag law, we prefer a different name, we were very careful to work that out. so, in fact, that it is constitutional. that constitutional rights are protected. so again, that is going to be the question that congress has to face, is how do you do this and still protect people's
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rights to have guns and to own guns and to use guns. >> ohio governor mike dewine, thank you for your time. we appreciate it. >> thank you. president trump just landed in el paso, texas. we're going to talk to one member of congress who turned down a meeting with the president there. stay with us. this is the couple who wanted to get away who used expedia to book the vacation rental which led to the discovery that sometimes a little down time can lift you right up. expedia. everything you need to go.
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we're back with the national lead, trump now landing in el paso, texas. you see air force one there on the tarmac. joining me now to talk about the president's visit, democratic congress woman veronica escobar who represents el paso and turned down a meeting with the
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president. congress woman, thank you for joining us on such a horrible week. you said you would only meet with the president if you could talk to him about the rhetoric ahead of time and the white house turned you down but i wonder by not meeting with him did you miss a chance to not speak with him. >> here is what the challenge that i face -- jake, if i didn't have an opportunity to really have a one-on-one conversation with him in advance, and if i had been part of the motorcade, i don't know that i would have been in the car with him to speak, and then once he went to the hospital, if that is where he went, i don't know what his schedule was, there is just no opportunity. and that is why i felt when we got the invitation and i appreciate that they reached out to us, to invite us to be part of the motorcade, i thought this is an opportunity, this could be a possible opening to really use this moment, this moment of pain and this moment of severe suffering to use it as a moment of opportunity for the whole
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country and for this community, an opportunity to heal, but in order to heal there needs to be an acknowledgment of the words and the power of the words and the hate and the racism in the words that he view -- that he views to describe my community and of spanish immigrants and if we can't have that dialogue, my feeling was i refuse to be a prop. i'm not going to stand next to him as he pretends to care about what is happening in the community. i hope he truly does care. but these are really difficult and important conversations that need to be had. they can't be had in moments of -- >> we're looking now at pictures of the president and first lady melania trump meeting with governor abbott and senators cornyn and cruz and the mayor of el paso is there as well. now the mayor said he's meeting with the president because he said this visit should not be about politics. what is your response to that?
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>> humanity should not be about politics either. respecting the dignity and the grace of every human being should not be a republican or a democratic value. it should be a human value, right. and the words that the president has used have dehumanized us, jake. that is why a terrorist can walk into a shopping center and gun down people in such cold blood. because he doesn't see us as human. the words that the president has used also dehumanized us. we -- there should be no division on this issue. there should be only unity and calling for accountability on those -- the power of those words, the damage done by those words and calling on the president to say every human being, regardless of the color of your skin, regardless of who you love, who you are, or regardless of whether you were born on this side of the river or the other side of that river,
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every human being deserves dignity and respect. that shouldn't be a part of the issue. >> i remember president george w. bush saying american values don't stop at the rio grande river. are you speaking on behalf of yourself and your constituents, i've heard from a number of latino and latina friends who are scared, who are afraid in their own country who have never felt more afraid. and island -- and i'm wondering if you could speak to that. >> don't be afraid. don't be afraid. be proud of who you are. be proud of what you represent. but this is why it is so important, jake, for the president to do this. he can have a country that is living in fear, living in division, divided by hate, divided by racism or he could rise to the occasion of embracing every human being with the dignity that we all deserve,
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the dignity and the grace. it is up to him, really. and we're going to see in the days ahead whether the person reading the lines from the teleprompter is the same person as the person on twitter and the same person on rallies. this community is resilient and strong and beautiful. and we are united in love and we are -- we are determined to -- determined to make sure that every person is treated with the dignity they deserve. >> democratic congresswoman veronica escobar of the beautiful city of el paso and the surrounding area. thank you so much for your time. we appreciate it. we know it has been a really awful week. >> thank you, jake. as president trump arrives in el paso, some of the democrats hoping to challenge him in 2020 are, well, unleashing. that's next. [farmers bell] (burke) at farmers insurance, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even a "three-ring fender bender."
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in our 2020 lead in the aftermath of two horrific attacks, two presidential candidates unleashed some of the most aggressive criticisms to date of president trump on the matter of race. new jersey senator cory booker accused the president of weaponizing hate for gain and joe biden said president trump has fanned the flames of white supremacy. jessica dean picks up the coverage from the campaign trail. >> our president is aligned himself with the darkest forces in this nation. >> reporter: in his strongest rebuke of president trump yet, former vice president joe biden told a crowd in iowa today trump has fanned the flames of white supremacy in america and lacks the leadership of presidents before him. >> george h.w. bush renouncing
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his membership in the nra. president clinton after oklahoma city. george w. bush going to a mosque after 9/11. president obama after charleston. >> reporter: biden also laying out what he would do as president on gun control and reminding people of his support for the brady bill in 1993 which mandated background checks and his work to pass the assault weapons ban in the 1994 crime bill. >> as the guy along with senator dianne feinstein got the assault weapons ban in a high capacity magazines banned in this country for ten years. if elected president we will do it again. we will do it again. >> reporter: in another early voting state, south carolina, senator cory booker today with a similar message. >> hate crimes in america are increasing. >> reporter: railing against the rise of white supremacy from the pulpit at mother emanuel ame
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church in charleston where a white supremacist shot and killed nine african-americans during a piebl -- during a bible study in 2015. >> generations of politics have used fear of the other for political gain and that is certainly the case today. >> reporter: booker said america is at a cross roads and must decide if it will act to protect against mass shootings and crimes fueled by hate. >> we must require federal licensing for guns in america. and we've got to go further. we must require that the department of justice, homeland security and the fbi conduct assessments of the domestic terrorist threats that are posed by white supremacists. >> reporter: back here in iowa, when asked to respond to president trump's tweet criticizing him, joe biden looked directly at the cameras and, jake, he simply said, he should get a life. >> jessica dean in iowa.
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thank you. let's chew over this with the panel. sunlen, let me start with you. there are gun restrictions posed by democrats and some republicans as well. do any of them, do you think, have a chance of getting through the senate? i assume most could get through the democrat-controlled house but what about the republican-controlled senate. >> it is difficult. what we're discussing right now in the republican senate are the so-called red flag laws where you could have a law enforcement official or family member petition a judge to try to get weapons out of someone who could harm themselves or others. but i've started to hear some grumbling a little bit about that effort. because anything that is seen as restricting access to guns is going to run into concern from conservatives on capitol hill. so i think that is what people like senator lindsey graham, richard blumenthal, marco rubio, is what they are proposing as the ano dine of laws because it only incentivized states to make
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their own laws and i wouldn't expect that any time soon and what you're listening to the democratic candidates talk about is measures such as an assault weapons ban and that is not on congress' main agenda since 2004 when the federal assault weapons ban expired. you've heard a lot of democratic candidates talk about using executive action on gun violence -- >> kamala harris. >> the most prominent one doing that. but you could almost guarantee it will be challenged in the court. >> let's turn to the other angle of this, the president's rhetoric and the notion of the rising threat of white supremacists. joe biden said today president trump is, quote, fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation. not quite as far as beto o'rourke who said that he thinks president trump is a white supremacist. >> yes. beto has said that. biden, he's doing a very good job on this today. i thought that he read a very good speech and he really gave a full-throated critique of this. which is something -- it is necessary but it is not
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sufficient in the democratic primary. so people want to hear this. they want to know this is where candidates stand. and then candidates will go out and talk about what they want to do as president, that would be different. it is interesting when you mention the red flag laws, one thing that is very interesting to me is people are for the red flag laws like mike dewine proposed in ohio, but other people are against background checks. so you get on a list, you get your guns taken away from you and on a red flag list but nobody can check the list to find out whether or not they could sell you a gun. it is amazing. >> now you said you thought beto o'rourke was exploiting this issue by calling the president a white supremacist. >> yes. i absolutely do. i think this is a grotesque statement. i think joe biden knows better and that is why he's been far more careful. i think this is political exploitation of a tragedy. by the democrats. i think the president has been extraordinarily disciplined. i do think when this -- >> disciplined how? >> in keeping the focus on healing the country in a statement. >> since -- >> since the incidents happened
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and he spoke to them and made these visits which are completely appropriate and the right thing to do. i think this will be seen as overreaching by the american people. in short order these attacks on the president and this exaggeration that somehow his passion for policy issues regarding illegal immigration constitute racism or white supremacy. he is not a white supremacist. he denounced it. it is very clear that the president is committed to a point of view that democrats are now trying desperately to turn into a race issue. and i think that is extraordinarily unfortunate. >> so maggie, i don't know if it is overreach, the last poll indicated that 51% of the american people think president trump is a racist. >> right. >> so i don't -- maybe you're right and maybe it will be seen as overreach. but i don't know that these democrats arin sincere. maybe they are. but i think a lot of them believe the president is a white supremacist. >> i believe a number of them are believing what they are
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saying and i don't think this is political theater for any of them. i think joe biden is running a different kind of campaign and i think we'll see if it works at the democratic primary in this moment in time is he is making a bet that the general election electorate will be more concerned about making that explicit statement. we'll find out. >> thanks, everyone. coming up one 2020 candidate who has changed his position on gun legislation. stay with us. most people think a button is just a button. ♪ that a speaker is just a speaker. ♪ or - that the journey can't be the destination. most people haven't driven a lincoln. discover the lincoln approach to craftsmanship at the lincoln summer invitation. right now, get 0% apr on all 2019 lincoln vehicles plus no payments for up to 90 days. only at your lincoln dealer. plus no payments for up to 90 days. at t-mobile, for $40/line for four lines, it's all included for the whole family.
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we're back, now president trump and the first lady arriving at university medical center in el paso where he's expected to meet with some of the victims of horrific racist el paso shooting. our coverage continues right now. thanks for watching. happening now, el paso visit. air force one just touched down in el paso. president trump will be meeting with victims of the mass shooting and thanking first responders. his visit is sparking protests from el paso residents who don't appreciate his anti-immigrant rhetoric but will the president see or hear them? nice job. today the president visited shooting victims in dayton, ohio and the mayor said he did a nice job of consoling people but added she's disappointed because he offered nothing concrete about stopping gun violence. her news conference sparked a twitter attack from the president as he headed to el paso. why can't he resist getting